Dog snores: What they mean and what to do about 'em
I’ve got this fabulous dog staying at my house for the holidays. Ginger is an English bulldog yearling whose owner needed a safe place for a sweet dog whose extensive dermatologic requirements necessitate allergy vaccines, antibiotics, antihistamines, frequent bathing and the like.
Sure, I could have kept her at work but I couldn’t resist taking her home for the extra cuddling. Plus, she needs socialization and lots of playtime––as does my own Slumdog, always a willing partner in crime.
Then there’s the issue of her weight loss. Only 11 months old and spherical as can be, Ginger is a special needs case in every physical way imaginable. Lucky for her she’s also superlative in terms of her demeanor. Cuddlesome in extremis.
Problem is, Ginger also snores like a freight train. And now that it’s cold in Miami (50s at night this week) she’s been sharing the family bed with Slumdog and me (Vincent shares the room with my son). Which translates into the occasional waking moment when the snoring gets really out of control. This is LOUD. How loud? Try out this video for a close comparison:
OK, so I’ll confess: I snore too. Though I know I snore less now that I don’t smoke (and haven’t coughed for a month now, I swear), I understand that it can be a little annoying. But I never thought it was a big deal. After all, my dogs have always snored, brachycephalic (short-snouted) as they’ve all been. And I can sleep with them perfectly well so I figure my comparably minor nasal intonations can’t be too horrendous.
But Ginger? She’s a special case. This is one LOUD snorer. Which I pretty much knew right off the bat, since any dog whose breathing resonates from across the room has got to be a snorer. All that nasal rasping and soft palatal gurgling almost certainly translates into an evening of concert-quality cachophany.
The worst part, however (apart from the fact that she likes to sleep curled up next to my head), is that Ginger’s snoring means more than just some sleeplessness as I adjust to her nighttime sounds. What it mostly means is that she’s likely suffering chronic discomfort from her inability to breathe normally. She’s also less heat tolerant, more exercise intolerant, and almost certainly suffers sleep apnea. Not good.
What’s the solution? Apart from never ever breeding bulldogs (something I highly recommend despite my affinity for them), soft palate resection surgery and nares-opening surgery is desperately needed.
Above all, everyone needs to understand that snoring is NOT cute. NOT comfortable. In fact, snoring is nothing but a sign of disease. It’s too bad so many bulldoggy diseases are considered irresistibly cute. Screw-tails, stumpy legs, smushy faces, throaty noises––they’re what we breed for. All so dogs like Ginger can snore in my ear and keep me awake and rack up the veterinary bills. How sweet.
Good thing that’s the one big thing Ginger’s got going for her. Temperamentally, this one’s a serious keeper.